A Handy Bread Machine Troubleshooting Guide
Nothing beats the taste of freshly baked bread. After a long day at work, you want to go back home and make yourself some loaf. But, imagine how frustrating it can be, to have that much anticipation only to find your Best Small Bread Machine which was designed to help you cook a tasty loaf isn’t giving you the best-shaped bread or a well-cooked loaf. You open it and you are welcomed by a mess. What do you do? And what really happened? Keep reading this handy bread machine troubleshooting guide to find out.
Common Bread Machine Problems:
1. Texture Problems The loaf is short and dense
It’s not ideal biting into a dough that’s very dense. Several things could have caused this. Maybe you used too much or very little ingredients, or you added insufficient water, salt, sugar, or yeast. Additional ingredients can also cause this problem.
Bread is coarse and has holes
It’s not uncommon for a freshly baked loaf to look like Swiss cheese and with a coarse texture. If this happens, blame it on excess water, forgetting the salt or maybe the included fruits and vegetables weren’t patted dry.
Sticky and gummy loaf
If your bread feels like raw dough or when you eat you feel like you are chewing gums in patches, your thermostat could be defective especially if this happens multiple times, or you’ve used too many wet ingredients or too much sugar, or you baked in an excessively cold room.
2. Shape Issues A mushroom-shaped loaf
If you remove your bread from the machine only to see a shape of clouds following a nuclear explosion, many things could have caused that. Often, this shape results from incorrectly proportioned ingredients. But, if you are confident that you mixed everything in the right proportion, then you might want to check your loaf pan size. You can also get this shape if:
- You didn’t add salt or added too little
- You didn’t adjust the proportions while adding sugary ingredients
Your loaf is flat
The yeast used when making loaves causes them to rise. But if your freshly baked bread didn’t do that, it’s probably because;
- One used old or yeast which wasn’t stored properly
- Yeast wasn’t added at all
- Too much sugar and high water temperatures that killed the yeast
- Adding ingredients to the pan in an incorrect order
Sometimes your bread rises but not wholly. When this happens, you need new yeast, or you used low amounts of sugar, or you baked using all-purpose flour or whole gain one.
Bread collapses during baking
Common causes of this problem are:
- Too much yeast
- Bread pan was too small
- Salt wasn’t added
- Too much liquid in the dough
- Opening the bread machine when baking
3. Crust Issues Very thick crust
Often this happens because a person didn’t remove the loaf from the machine immediately the baking cycle was completed.
Extremely dark crust
A dark crust is usually caused by using too much sugar or setting a darker crust color. Try a lighter crust setting. However, for those machines which lack this setting, remove the bread some few minutes before the baking cycle is completed.
Basics to Keep in Mind When Baking
Baking is really simple because the bread maker is designed to do the most for you. However, even so, it’s not uncommon to experience burned or poorly shaped bread. When it comes to making loaves, it’s a matter of getting the right type and mixture of ingredients and knowing how to store as well as following the correct baking procedure.
Let’s look at the ingredients since they play the most significant role in bread making.
While many people tend to experiment with different flours, we advise that you use strong bread flour, since it has more gluten that’ll help the loaf to rise.
When buying yeast, check the packing to ensure that it is bread compatible. Use dried yeast as it doesn’t require fermentation. It’s normally sold in small tins or sachets. And before buying, confirm that the sachet or tin is sealed properly. Once you open, don’t use it for more than three months.
How to Balance the Ingredients?
You can have the right ingredients, but if you fail to add them in correct proportions, your baked bread will not look or taste like anything you’d hoped.
Salt is useful as it helps strengthen gluten. But too much of it kills the yeast. On the other hand, sugar nourishes yeast. Small amounts will be consumed by the yeast, yet so much sugar leads to overly brown loaf.
Also, add enough liquid to make sure you don’t get a dense or flat loaf. But not too much as it may live your bread with cavities.
You should keep all your ingredients at room temperature, unless if the recipe you are using has specified otherwise. Avoid using a liquid that is very warm because it will kill the yeast. But also, don’t rely so much on fridge temperature liquids as they can affect the way your loaf rises.
Bread Machine Tips
Of course, the baking results depend on your bread maker. So, it’s essential that you read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the manual carefully. But, regardless of the model, some general tips will help you make impressive loaves.
- To prevent spilling inside the bread maker, remove the bread pan from the machine and place it on the scales to weigh the ingredients.
- Immediately remove the bread from the pan after baking.
- Use a plastic spatula to remove the loaf out of the pan.
- Avoid opening the machine before the baking cycle is completed.
Baking is fun. But, it’s a skill that like any other has to be learned. If you have encountered the above common baking problems, at least you now know what caused them and how to rectify. Always use the correct ingredients and add the right proportions. And, it’s also essential that you use a recipe from a reliable source.
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